Noir | Chicago Reader

Noir

Shot in Montreal, this ensemble drama is surprisingly languid for a movie about ghetto life. Director Yves Christian Fournier moves fluidly between multiple subplots and frequently interrupts the action with short, slow-motion sequences set to chamber music and avant-garde jazz, yet the dreamy stylization never distracts from the stinging community portrait. The film often recalls the first season of HBO's The Wire in its sociological view of gang activity, charting the hierarchies within criminal organizations and the tensions that form between gang members and neighboring civilians. Fournier and writer Jean-Hervé Désiré are also sensitive to the interactions between Montreal's Haitian and Algerian immigrant communities, and their emphasis on interracial relations helps to distinguish the movie from similar gangland dramas. In French with subtitles.

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